Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week 28: Carrots and Beets

I've been harvesting a few things out of the garden lately.  First there were peas, then some radishes, and now there are carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabi.  Of course, we've only gotten two kohlrabi, about 3 or 4 turnips and a little more than that of rutabagas.  So definitely not an overload of vegetables!  Although, it is about time to pull the rutabagas so that a Fall crop can be planted.
These carrots are called Tonda Di Parigi, they're a 19th-century Parisian heirloom carrot.  They only get to about 2" long and about 1 1/2" in diameter, so they're perfect for hard soil.  They grew really well for me, as you can see.  I can't wait to cook some up for dinner!

These beets are Lutz Salad Leaf.  The tops are supposed to be good in salads, I will have to try it sometime!  They grew pretty well considering they got trampled a few times by my little brothers!

I like to grow old heirloom varieties because it's almost like planting a piece of history!  It's fun to imagine all of the people before who may have grown the same variety at one time!

Week 27: Independence Day

So I'm a little late in getting these up, say about 12 days late? ;)  But here they are!  I always end up trying all of my lenses (3) and a ton of different settings for firework pictures.  I don't quite have it figured out yet.  Here are a few that turned out.

Did I mention that it helps if your batteries are charged?  About halfway through my battery went dead and my other two wouldn't work either!  So I just got to enjoy the show and not worry about pictures! ;)

This pink one is probably my favorite!  It could have something to do with all of the others being the same gold color....

This last one wins the award for the best picture I took of the night!

Do you like to photograph fireworks?  Have any tips on getting good firework pictures?  Maybe using a tripod?

"For you have been called to live in Freedom.......
use your Freedom to serve one another in Love."
Galatians 5:13

Friday, June 28, 2013

Week 26: Spring Garden

I thought I'd share some pictures of our garden.  This year it was so cold much later than normal, it's still not quite as hot as it usually is.  I'm  fine with that!  Because of this the garden was planted much later than I would have liked.  I still have three more beds to plant!  As far as weeds go, we've done a pretty good job at keeping them down, at least in the beds that are already planted.  Mulch helps a lot!
Last Fall I mulched half of this garden with leaves and chicken manure.  This Spring I left it like it was and planted  right in it.  At first the mulch hadn't composted much and some of the smaller seeds had a hard time sprouting unless I added a little dirt on top and planted the seeds in there.  Now it seems to have composted more and the seeds sprout better.  It has helped keep the weeds to a minimum. 
With the other half of the garden I have put down one layer of newspaper and added a thick layer of grass clippings after I planted the bed.  If you were planting seeds I would wait until they have sprouted and are about 4 or 5 inches tall before adding the mulch.  That way you don't suffocate them.  You want to be sure and mow the yard before anything goes to seed, otherwise you will be planting grass/weeds in your garden by adding the grass clippings.

This is a bed of onions, one of the first things I planted this year.  I only just got around to putting the newspaper and grass mulch on.

As you can see we have to have the garden fenced to keep the chickens out.  The bed in the middle is a row of cucumbers down the middle with some radishes on the sides.  The bed to the right is peas.  To the left you can see a few kohlrabi and beets.

This is a row of beets growing between two rows of bush beans.  Some of the bush beans have climbing tendrils on them!?  I don't think that's supposed to happen!

 This is a picture of the Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas I mentioned in the last post.
Some cilantro that is past it's prime.

This is a close up of the cucumbers in the second picture.  They are Poona Kheera cucumbers from Baker Creek.  I grew these last year.  Boy did they produce!!  I ended up with enough to make two kinds of pickles and also some left over to eat fresh.

These are Purple Plum radishes.  They were planted kind of late and are having to grow in the heat, they seem to be doing ok though.

Another shot of the onions.

Do you like to garden?  Do you have any tips for getting the garden in earlier?

Week 25: Peas in a Pod

It's been a pretty good spring for growing peas.  At first I was afraid it was going to get too hot before our peas bloomed, but then it cooled back down again.  We have had a ton of snow peas!  I have been eating them raw with almost every meal!  I grew the same kind last year and they've done well again this year.  They're called Oregon Sugar Pod II, you can find them here on the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds website.
The pictures that I am sharing with you today are shell peas.  They are also from Baker Creek, they're called Lincoln.  They have also grown really well.  Though they produced about a week and a half later than the snow peas, we were still able to get some pickings in before the hot summer heat.  These were a nice addition to some stew I made about a week ago.
They produced about 6-7 peas per pod average, with a few having 9-10 peas per pod!  They were nice sized, too.  I plan on saving seed from these this year and planting them again next season.


I may try to plant some for a fall crop if the seed is ready in time!

 I like this edit!

I couldn't decide which I liked best between these two edits.

I can't wait until the warm season vegetables start producing!  Can anyone say Tomatoes?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 24: Pink Clematis

I planted this clematis about three years ago.  The first year I don't think it bloomed at all.  The second year (last year) it had several blooms.  This year it has exploded!  There are tons of blooms all over it!  I really like Clematis and hope to get a few different colors started.  I believe this one is called Nelly Moser.  Though I may be wrong on that one.  It doesn't look anything like the picture that was on the package that I bought!

But I still like it anyway!

This picture was one of those where you think, "Hey, I wonder how it will look from this angle."  One of those times where you normally wouldn't have tried it this way.  I really like how it turned out!

This one is probably my favorite!  Sometimes I have a hard time getting the camera to focus where I want it to.  I will think I have it right, take my camera inside and unload the pictures only to find out it's not focused where I thought it was!  With this picture I wanted it focused on the white stamens in the center of the flower to help draw your eye into the picture.  It's pretty close to where I wanted it.

Have you been enjoying the summer flowers? 

Week 23: Strawberry Orange Sorbet

Strawberry Orange Sorbet.  What can I say?  It was awesome!  My younger sister, yes the same one that made these Pink Popsicles, found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make it.  Well I 'm glad she did, because it was really good!!  Creamy, sweet, and very Strawberry-y (I know that isn't a real word, but how else do I describe this awesome goodness?)
The only thing my sister changed was that she didn't cook the strawberries or use an ice cream freezer.  I asked her how she made it, and she didn't even know that the recipe called for it to be cooked!  She just looked at the ingredients and made it!!  It turned out just fine, though.  So if you don't have an ice cream freezer you can still make this.  She also used frozen strawberries which probably took away the need to freeze in an ice cream freezer.  She just blended the recipe in a blender.  If you need a good blender, the Ninja one is what we have and it works better than any I have ever tried.  We really like it.


This recipe is plenty sweet, so in my mind that means you can leave out most, if not all, of the sugar.

Here is our adapted recipe, or maybe I should say accidental adapted recipe:

Strawberry Orange Sorbet

4 C. Frozen Strawberries
1 C. Water
1 C. Orange Juice
1/8 to 1/4 C. Sugar  (or none)
Blend all ingredients in a blender.
Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for approximately 2 hours.
Enjoy on a hot summer day!

Do you like making homemade ice cream/sorbet?

Week 22: Another Old Barn

I took these pictures back in February while I was trying to get pictures of Bald Eagles.  Needless to say, the barn pictures turned out better than the Eagle ones.


When I edit pictures I will try editing in black-and-white to see if it looks better than the original.  With this picture, I couldn't decide which I liked better.  Though, I am leaning more toward the black-and-white version!

Which is your favorite?  Do you tend to like black-and-white or color better?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Week 21: A Vintage Barn

This is a picture of my Grandpa's barn where he grew up.  I love how the vintage edit turned out!
Seeing pictures like this makes you wonder what stories took place here.  Who the people were that used this barn throughout the years, and what their life was like.  I think old pictures are neat, though this is not an old picture, it is an old barn.

The editing of these barn pictures is going slowly.  I have been using the nice days to work in the garden, and the rainy days to edit pictures.  Yep, today is a rainy day.  Although, I would like to do a photo shoot in the rain sometime.  I haven't been able to convince anyone to model for me! :)  Oh well.

Off to edit some more pictures!

Week 20: Snow in a Green World

This Spring we had several heavy, wet, snows.  These pictures are from the second or third snow.  Normally, we don't get snow past March in the Spring.  This has been a weird year as far as the weather goes.

This Hyacinth picture is probably my favorite! 

"Praise the Lord from the earth,
sea monsters and all ocean depths;
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
strong winds that obey His command."
Psalm 148:7-8

Week 19: Food Photography

I have been experimenting with food photography now and then.  Sometimes it's a little tricky placing things in the picture and getting the right angle.  Here are some of my most recent attempts.
These are some biscuits I made the other day when it was cold and snowing.  It helped warm up the house!  Not to mention yummy biscuits!


It was pretty dark outside because of the snow, so I had a hard time trying to find a sunny spot to take these photos.

This is probably my favorite out of the biscuit pictures.
My sister made some deviled eggs, they were good!

My other sister made some lemon cookies.  They were also very good!!

Have you tried your hand at food photography?